The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 24, 2013

Bank robbery suspect left revealing note

Iowa authorities identified suspect before his arrest for local robbery

MANKATO — It didn't take long for authorities in Iowa to identify a bank robbery suspect, a man who was arrested three days later after allegedly robbing a bank in Eagle Lake last week.

All they had to do was look at his loan application.

When a robber walked into the Keystone Savings Bank in Center Point, Iowa, Oct. 12, he grabbed a loan form and a pen to write a note that demanded money and said he would kill bank employees if they didn't comply. Before writing the note, however, the robber also took some time to fill in several boxes, according to a search warrant application filed in Blue Earth County District Court.

The man wasn't completely honest as he filled in the boxes. But investigators said he provided enough information for them to identify a prime suspect, 25-year-old George "Ricky" Gaunt, before the day was over.

The warrant application was used by Blue Earth County sheriff's detectives to justify a search of the car Gaunt was driving and to take a DNA sample by swabbing the inside of his cheek. It said investigators with the Linn County Sheriff's Department in Iowa also wanted a DNA sample to link Gaunt to a bicycle they believe was used in the Center Point robbery.

According to the warrant application, the Keystone Savings Bank loan form used for the robbery note had the name, Social Security number, address, phone number and occupation lines filled in. The name, birthday and occupation information didn't lead to anything, but the Social Security number started with 406; the address was 10 Audry St., Ludlow, Wis.; and the phone number had an 859 area code.

Investigators checked the address and learned there is no Ludlow, Wis., but there is a Ludlow, Ky, that had a 10 Audry St. address. They also found out that 406 was the first three numbers of Social Security numbers issued in Kentucky and that 859 was an area code used for phone numbers in a city near Ludlow.

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